Tag Archives: wine

Kostas Family Restaurant in Dillsboro, N.C.

Best Calamari to start our meal, ever! Delicious and properly fried! Finished the plate between us. Usually don’t as too much breading and so-so sauce. Not at Kostas, promise they are first rate!!
Baklava is a perfect Greek dessert! Sweet and a great topping off of a great meal!
Barb was much pleased with her chicken dish, so was I, I finished it the next day. So much food, so good that why not take it home too!
A Basa fish specialty! All Greek to me!

American Press Travel News–May 1st, Dillsboro, N.C. at Kostas Family Restaurant.  Just heading into this little “burg” there are two terrific restaurants. First up-Kostas Family Restaurant. The staff was spectacular! From the tall-glass-of-water-owner to the wait staff and even the register gal, you felt that their name was apropos-Kostas “Family” Restaurant. Every diner who has visited a Greek owners restaurant knows about the Greek Salad. We both had one as part of our main dish platters. Decent amount of Greek Olives, tomatoes, greens and onions. The salad dressing was Mediterranean delicious. Grilled Basa fish topped with Feta Cheese, Spinach, onions and tomatoes with rice Pilaf. Together with fresh, hot Pita Pocket breads-WOW! Besides all the actual Greek specialties the restaurant had Italian dishes and all American ribs and meats too! Barb opted for a pasta dish with grilled chicken Parmesan, covered in real mozzarella, and oven baked with spaghetti. We finished off our meal with honey, nutty-stuffed Baklava and mom’s rice pudding! When you get over Dillsboro or Silva, N.C. way give a call, no reservations necessary most of the time: 828-631-0777  Visit them at: www.kostasdillsboro.com  

A Visit To The Duke Mansion; A Charlotte, NC Historic Inn & Meeting Place

Picking up the key to our suite!
Picking up the key to our suite!

AMERICAN PRESS TRAVEL NEWS  Charlotte, N.C.-Barb and I always like to experience the fine mom and pop B&B’s, resorts and middle of the road hotels and motels across America. However, sometimes we enjoy visiting the finest upscale, restored hundred year old homes and older. The architecture and landscaping of a different time, and mind-set, be they diminutive, or sprawling (The Duke Mansion is 32,000 Square feet, nearly a full acre of home) of the highly successful business magnates (now gone to bed in history) of the ilk of Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Loews, to name a few, that were able to afford the utmost in real estate and grandiose homes, now turned into guest accommodations. The Duke Mansion is such a place in time and space. With 14- original acres back in 1915 and today, gardens of roses and flora mirroring the past gardens, rooms with soaring ceilings, and huge windows with brass hardware of delightful industrial Revolution, art era design, juxtaposed near today’s comfortable beds and modern bath facilities-and at a price per day and evening, reasonable enough for any special occasion and exclusive visit.

 Bed and a terrific Breakfast! Its what the 2nd "B" stands for!

Bed and a terrific Breakfast! Its what the 2nd “B” stands for!

We pulled into the curved driveway with easy parking, stopped for a picture of Mr. Duke’s original shooting fountain (Duke of Duke Power fame, said his Rolls Royce, Daughter Doris and his fountain was what he was most proud of) and were ensconced, thanks to the delightful concierge into a charming room with chocolates on the bed and homemade cookies and beverages just outside our door. After relaxing and looking over the grounds (So much history, so little time!)  We headed for a highly recommended restaurant; Five Church for dinner! What a delightful meal awaited us after the Valet did the parking: Maine Lobster for Barbara, Scallops, and their 60-second New York Strip for us too (we share everything, and compare notes and tastes). Great service by Brian, our wait guy! We tried shrimp flat bread for appetizer and wonderful tomato bisque! Everything was “multi belle.” www.5church.com Entrance at 5th Street and Church St. 704-919-1322.

IMG_5200Duke Mansion is located at 400 Hermitage Road Charlotte, NC 28207 www.dukemansion.com 888-202-1009

Checking out the Duke Mansion
Checking out the Duke Mansion
Aroma of rose, and Barb was in heaven!
Aroma of rose, and Barb was in heaven!
Almost like a fairy tale!
Almost like a fairy tale!

Lake Erie and Lake Chautauqua – Grape Arbors As Far As You Can See

www.americanpresstravelnews.com News.com – June 27th – Riding around the Lake Erie region of Chautauqua there are vineyards almost everywhere. 

To find out more about the business of grapes in this attractive area we visited The Cornell University Lake Erie Research Extension Laboratory. We learned that there are approximately 30,000 acres in the Lake Erie region of New York and Pennsylvania. 98.5% of these grapes are used for juice, jam and other fresh or fermented products. The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program consists of Extension Educators and research faculty/staff from Cornell University and Penn State University devoted to projects aimed at increasing yields, product quality, diversity and improvement of cultivars, efficiency of production, profitability and adoption of environmentally sound cultural and pest management strategies. To find out more take a look at their website: www.lergp.cce.cornell.edu/.

Our next stop was at the Johnson Estate Winery. This is oldest estate winery in the New York State, established in 1961.

Johnson Estates Wines

The Johnson’s Estate is a Story of Three Generations, beginning in 1877 with an English orphan named Frederick Johnson. In 1908 Johnson purchased this home circa – 1822 with the adjoining farm along the banks of Freelings Creek, in Westfield, N.Y. There is a full history on the website.

Today it is owned by Frederick Johnson Jr. with his wife Jennifer, former president of the Chautauqua – Lake Erie Wine Trail. They completed a renovation of the tasting room in 2011 for the winery’s 50th anniversary celebration. This building has been beautifully renovated complementing the old with the new. They have a full side viewing window with the full size stainless steel tanks.

Wine tastings and pairings are popular at this winery, with a large selection of estate wines and gifts.  They have group tours by

Grape Vineyard

appointment. Also, they have many summer events that a space can be reserved online. Check out their website: www.JohnsonWinery.com or call (716) 326-2191.

Also call: 1-800-374-6569

 

 

 

La Mezzaluna Cafe in Charles Town Best Food Almost Anywhere America

Best mussels ever! This chef owner knows seafood. And for that matter true Sicilian fare as well! What an appetizer!!!Delicious plus!
Calamari to call home about! Special seasonings and just the right amount of butter. Terrific!
Bow tie pasta and shrimp in a custom sauce creation. You just couldn’t stop eating this creation!!!
Veal Marsala was beyond great! Mushrooms, and sauce created to perfection. The meat was tender and not stringy and tough-just freaking delicious (gained 5-pounds at the place)

AmericanPressTravelNews-June 22, Charles Town, W.VA-Bob & Barb “On the Road Again” and “Stopping to Taste Great Foods.” This time we went to lunch from the Carriage Inn on Donn’s recommendation to La Mezzaluna Cafe. WOW! The offerings were all especially great!! We hit the garlic knot rolls (real garlic, not powder) first and we did the “dipsy doo” in the sauces from the mussels, then the bowtie pasta and shrimps sauces and finally the incredible veal marsala. This place was incredible and then all the law enforcement locals came in. Most were salivating before they even saw the well used menus. Only wish they were in my city in TN. probably have to wait on line, though!!!  La Mezzaluna Cafe “bringing delicacies from all the regions of Italy to your table.”  304-728-0700